This past weekend, McCormack announced that he was “quitting Twitter” because, while the platform was “great” as a “broadcast medium,” it was “a miserable failure” as a “discussion forum.” McCormack clarified that he wasn’t deleting his Twitter account, merely handing its control to the team behind his pro-BTC podcasts for ongoing promotional purposes.
McCormack’s final straw appears to have come via a truly tasteless tweet that a vile troll made to McCormack’s sister regarding the McCormack siblings’ late mother. That tweet, which we won’t dignify by repeating here, was ultimately removed by Twitter for violating the platform’s posting rules.
As he made his Twitter exit, McCormack copped to being “a hypocrite” in his criticisms of the platform, noting that he was quite capable of “being a prick myself” in his interactions with other Twitter members. That admission may have played a larger role in his decision to quit Twitter than McCormack is willing to admit publicly, considering the legal trouble he finds himself embroiled in vis-à-vis Dr. Wright.
Here comes da judge
The civil case of Wright v McCormack is finally scheduled to get underway on May 24 in the U.K. High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, more than three years after Dr. Wright filed a formal libel claim against the outspoken podcaster. Wright was compelled to act after McCormack publicly accused him of fraud.
Wright’s alleged ‘crime?’ Revealing that he was the real-life figure behind Satoshi Nakamoto, the author of the 2008 Bitcoin white paper, a step Wright reluctantly took only after he was doxed by Gizmodo and Wired magazines and his secret identity exposed to the world in late-2015.
Attempting to shut the barn door (and/or his XXL mouth) after the cows had fled, McCormack first tried to sandbag the legal process, for which the Court ordered him to pay Wright’s legal costs. Efforts to convince the Court to dismiss the case were equally unsuccessful, leading McCormack to (apparently) throw in the legal towel in October 2020 (despite tweeting earlier that year that “truth is winning”).
However, within months of McCormack hoisting his white flag he was back before the Court, seeking to resume and re-amend his defense to downplay the harm his words inflicted on Wright by citing similar attacks on Wright by third parties. This was rejected by the Court, which imposed further legal costs on McCormack for his continued efforts to slow the wheels of justice.
When the trial does get underway in two months’ time, the sole avenue of defense that McCormack will be allowed to pursue is that his attacks on Wright didn’t actually cause serious damage to Wright’s reputation.
The protracted legal process—the delays largely his own doing, mind you—led McCormack to claim to have sustained serious damage to his pocketbook, tweeting in June 2021 that he was “in debt £500k to my lawyers and have had to sign my house over.” McCormack’s moaning added weight to the rumors that the backers of the notoriously unbacked stablecoin Tether—also no fans of Dr. Wright—had withdrawn their financial support of McCormack’s case.
Quit now, pay later
Before his Twitter exit, McCormack’s account featured a running stream of invective directed at Wright and anyone even remotely associated with BSV. McCormack has even struck out at individuals outside the digital asset sector who’d simply stated their intention to appear at a CoinGeek conference while also targeting platforms that dared to host pro-BSV commentary.
McCormack is/was a charter member of an extremely vocal online club whose members actively rubbish BSV as Wright’s unworkable folly. But the suspiciously large amount of time and effort these individuals devote to this cause betrays their real goal: extinguishing the existential threat that BSV’s utility-based model of big blocks and low transaction fees poses to their function-free ‘digital gold’ tokens.
Given his legal difficulties, McCormack may have more justification than most of his ilk to target BSV for scorn. And rest assured, should McCormack defy the expectations and prevail against Wright, he’ll be back on Twitter in a heartbeat, doing a digital victory dance on Wright’s legal grave.
But in the meantime, McCormack’s disappearing act allows him to avoid uncomfortable questions regarding how he’ll react once the Court delivers long-delayed justice to Wright (including the likelihood of significant financial damages on top of McCormack’s legal tab). McCormack can also avoid an even more ignominious exit from the public space in the immediate aftermath of the verdict, when the media spotlight will cast an even more unfavorable glare.
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